Preworkout Supplements' Benefits & Why You Should Use Them

An athletic, light-skinned man wearing workout pants with his shirt off as he concentrates on a ropes workout.

What does a pre-workout do? Is it necessary? We have answers. 

Even the most motivated gym-goer can go through bouts of feeling bored, indifferent, discouraged, and just plain tired. We know exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost mood, maintain weight, and improve physique, but those facts alone aren’t always enough. If you’ve never taken a pre-workout, you could be missing out on the key to overcoming everything that holds you back at the gym. Understanding the ingredients, how pre-workout products actually work, and choosing the right one for you could take your next workout to the next level.

Not convinced? Here are a few reasons a pre-workout should earn a permanent place in your gym bag.

  1. Boost Energy and Focus

One huge benefit of a good pre-workout supplement is the focus and mental clarity that comes from common ingredients like caffeine. Why worry about your focus at the gym? It’s not about zeroing in on your gains, but about helping you stay on track and make better decisions while exercising. When you’re focused, you’re less likely to make split-second decisions that could end in injury. When you’re dialed in and focused on your goals, you make better choices and keep your mind free, clear, and ready to do the work.

  1. Enhance Endurance

Look, you only get so much time in your schedule to focus on your fitness, so you need to make every moment count. Losing steam during your workout could derail your progress. Pre-workout supplement ingredients like rhodiola rosea can reduce feelings of fatigue so you can exercise longer and harder. Skip the mid-workout fatigue and end as strong as you began to make sure every second you get in the gym contributes to your fitness goals.

Fit white man sitting cross-legged on a gym floor, wearing gym shorts and workout shoes, drinking from a water bottle.
  1. Reduce Muscle Cramping from Electrolyte Loss

Have you ever experienced muscle cramping during a particularly difficult workout? These sharp pains can attack almost any large muscle group: legs, arms, back, and abdominals. If you’ve ever had one you know that once you get a cramp, your gym session is pretty much over while you tend to the pain.

A number of things may contribute to exercise-induced muscle cramps: heat, exercise-induced muscle damage, fitness levels, dehydration. Dehydration can result in low potassium levels. This happens when you sweat so much that drinking water alone actually dilutes the potassium and sodium in your body, causing muscles to seize.

But research shows that consuming a small amount of electrolytes in a pre-workout before and during exercise can help prevent dehydration. If you’re planning a prolonged workout, or working out in the heat or humidity, you may need more than just water – consider replenishing the potassium and sodium in your body, too. A pre-workout containing an electrolyte blend with ingredients like potassium and phosphorous not only helps maintain hydration, but it also combats muscle cramping from electrolyte loss.

  1. Enjoy Better Vascular Pump

We all know how important it is to get good blood flow to the muscles when we’re working out. After all, they need the oxygen so you can perform at your peak. During tough workouts, you may experience vascular pump. This increased blood volume, while temporary during a workout, can help promote long-term results.

Helping improve your body’s blood flow during a workout can have similar effects. Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown in studies to induce vasodilation, which increases blood flow and boosts blood oxygen supply to tissues. Many preworkouts either include NO or NO precursors (think creatine nitrate), are formulated with ingredients that help encourage the body’s own production of NO, or both.